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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

The 3's of Selling More

Posted on Thu, Jun 19, 2014

describe the image

The Rule of 3 according to Wikipedia is: a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. (citation needed).

The reader or audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. From slogans ("Go, fight, win!") to films, many things are structured in threes. Examples include The Three StoogesThree Musketeers and others.

Here are some 3’s for selling:

  1. focus on 3 verticals, applications or a mix of and don't waste your time elsewhere
  2. always try to give 3 benefits or reasons someone should do what you are asking
  3. have a minimum of 3:1 ratio of pipeline to target/quota
  4. 3 isn't a crowd – bring others to big meetings with you
  5. if you have 3 minutes, make a prospecting call or follow up those you have already made
  6. saving 3 minutes a day gives you another hour a week to prospect – imagine 30 minutes a day
  7. meditate for 3 minutes in between appointments or before a big presentation. You will be much clearer and present
  8. count to 3 before handling an objection
  9. take 3 deep breaths and exhale slowly to relax in a tense environment
  10. take 3 email breaks a day so you can do something more productive
  11. don't sit on stool unless it has at least 3 legs
  12. on average, if you have 3 meetings a day (for all stages of a sales process) you will make more money than other salespeople
  13. choose the 3 people (personal, boss, peer) who will hold you accountable for what you said you will do wen you created your S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  14. solutions should consist of at least 3 elements – product benefits, something about your company (history, philosophy, finances, etc) and services
  15. always be at an appt at least 3 minutes early if not 5 or 10 (too early is too eager)
  16. you can give a prospect 3 options to choose from, good- better- best. Either way they buy from you
  17. your company’s or own marketing should consist of 3’s like the example on top
  18. a great team can beat 3 superstars
What other 3's do you have?

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Skills, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Advice, Coaching, b2b Sales, Sales Productivity

Thinking is Overrated for Salespeople

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2014

brain resized 600

Thinking is Overrated

If you think about it (pun intended) we think WAY TOO MUCH. We use our thinking brain for almost everything. That is like the old adage of thinking every problem is a like a nail, so the only tool we need is a hammer (or something like that).

 What we don't use enough, or at all, is awareness or mindfulness, which in many instances is more important and relevant than thinking. Or at a minimum should be as present as thinking is. How can we define thinking vs. awareness? A simple comparison is:

 “Thinking” is when your mind creates thoughts about the situation you are in which are almost always based on past experiences, preconceived notions and our preferences around that situation.

 “Awareness” is being in the present moment with as little or few filters as possible, including thoughts. It is a more direct interaction with what is happening since you are experiencing it more directly. It is like having someone tell you about an experience vs experiencing it yourself.

 Awareness or mindfulness is as important, if not more so than thinking. Why:

  • thinking doesn’t allow us to see situations as clearly as possible since they are always filtered by the past and what we want or don't want
  • thinking limits us to the limits of our knowledge, experience and intelligence
  • thinking is one dimensional (the brain thinking) where awareness or mindfulness can be multi-dimensional

So, lets apply this to some basic sales situations:

  • you meet somebody with a preconceived notion so you ask and hear things based on that vs. what a person is actually saying or experiencing
  • With an overdependence on thinking, or “thinking on your feet” (which is an important skill) you may not be seeing or hearing things that are being said non-verbally (feelings, reactions, etc.)
  • You are thinking one or two steps ahead, anticipating what might happen (again an important skill) vs. what actually is happening and reacting to that, or worse, not seeing or hearing what is actually being said because your brain has taken you somewhere else
  • You are trying to “figure out” where an objection is coming from vs. being present and aware and tuning in to a person’s feelings around what is being said, which is much more important than the words

I hope you can see the importance of being more aware when you sell or being aware and thinking are better together.

Let me know what you think. And/or, if you agree spread the word by tweeting or facebooking, linking this in, carrier pidgeon, smoke signals, etc. You know, the basics.

Thanks.

Tags: Sales Advice, Presentations, Sales Tips, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Advice, Objection Handling, Sales Productivity, b2bSales

Is Big Data Bad for Salespeople

Posted on Tue, Mar 25, 2014

big data

For the longest time, my theory of evolution in our life and society have been analogous to the evolution of the computer industry:

  1. We started by having 1 computer that took up several football fields, did very little and only the privileged few (the aristocracy you might say) had access to the power. The rest of us were the in the fiefdom.
  2. That became the mainframe that IBM ultimately dominated, but again, only the privileged few had access to the power.
  3. Then came the minicomputers (Prime, DEC) and more people (lets say the heads of state or, territory or area) had access to the power
  4. Then came the PC and laptop computer and all of a sudden individuals had access to the power
  5. And of course we now have our mobile devices which are faster than the original PC’s, and give us access to ………..
  6. THE INTERNET, WEB, APP’S, SAAS, VIDEO CONTENT, FACEBOOK, BIG DATA, ETC so ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN GET WHATEVER THEY WANT, WHEN THEY WANT IT. WE ARE ALL KINGS AND ARISTOCRACY NOW.

And it is making us less inclined to consider the other, since we feel we don't need them anymore. After all, if I CAN GET WHAT I WANT AND WHEN I WANT IT, without having to deal with people, or salespeople, why should I?

 But, here is the problem. It is misleading, an illusion. People still have the need to be connected (see Facebook), still need the personal relationship, even though they are being conditioned and feel like they don’t. “For example, Big Data” is meant to be broken down into it’s most minute, measurable element which just obscures the fact that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” and that we are all in this together.

So what does this mean for us as salespeople:

  1. Reach out and touch someone, reach out and just say hi. Don't fool yourself or be misled
  2. Go visit somebody in person
  3. Be sensitive to people’s DiSC style, emotions, etc that affect how they buy
  4. Relate to people as people, not objects or invaluable objects, especially if you are the benefactor of many leads
  5. When you are with a prospect or customer, don't just ask about their technical and/or project needs but see if you can find out what it means to them personally.
  6. Be honest, genuine, kind, generous, caring and people will respond to you.

What are your thoughts? Please let me know.

Jonathan David London

 

 

 

Tags: Sales, Sales Training, b2b Sales, b2b Sales

Sell More By Getting Past The "I" You Are Selling To

Posted on Tue, Mar 11, 2014

buddha with headset

For the longest time, my theory of evolution in our life and society have been analogous to the evolution of the computer industry:

  1. We started by having one computer that took up several football fields, did very little and only the privileged few (the aristocracy, the kings you might say) had access to the power. The rest of us were the in the fiefdom.
  2. That became the mainframe that IBM ultimately dominated, but again, only the privileged few had access to the power.
  3. Then came the minicomputers (Prime, DEC) and more people (lets say the heads of state or, territory or area) had access to the power
  4. Then came the PC and laptop computer and all of a sudden individuals had access to the power
  5. And of course we now have our mobile devices which are faster than the original PC’s, and give us access to ………..
  6. THE INTERNET, WEB, APP’S, SAAS, VIDEO CONTENT, FACEBOOK, BIG DATA, ETC so ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN GET WHATEVER THEY WANT, WHEN THEY WANT IT. WE ARE ALL KINGS AND ARISTOCRACY NOW.

And it is making us less inclined to consider the other, since we feel we don't need them anymore. After all, if I CAN GET WHAT I WANT AND WHEN I WANT IT, without having to deal with people, or salespeople, why should I?

 But, here is the problem. It is misleading, an illusion. People still have the need to be connected (see Facebook), still need the personal relationship, even though they are being conditioned and feel like they don’t. “For example, Big Data” is meant to be broken down into it’s most minute, measurable element which just obscures the fact that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” and that we are all in this together.

 So what does this mean for us as salespeople:

  1. Reach out and touch someone, reach out and just say hi. Don't fool yourself or be misled
  2. Go visit somebody in person
  3. Be sensitive to people’s DiSC style, emotions, etc that affect how they buy
  4. Relate to people as people, not objects or invaluable objects, especially if you are the benefactor of many leads
  5. When you are with a prospect or customer, don't just ask about their technical and/or project needs but see if you can find out what it means to them personally.
  6. Be honest, genuine, kind, generous, caring and people will respond to you.

What are your thoughts? Please let me know.

 

Jonathan

Tags: Sales Training, Sales Strategies, Sales Tips, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Blogs, DiSC Styles

Sell More by Opening Your Heart

Posted on Wed, Feb 26, 2014

open my heart resized 600

While listening to a webinar today by Dan Pink, best selling author of “To Sell is Human” he mentioned that one of the qualities we need to engage more is to be of service to others.

 It was kismet in that earlier in the day, I was walking to an appointment with a client and the phrase “open my heart” came to mind. Not sure why. I know I really want to help this gentleman. He is starting his own business, is a nice guy, earnest, hard working and struggling a little. This was our last scheduled meeting for me to coach him so I wanted to do as much as I could for him.

 Open my heart. God does that sound nauseating, even to, or especially to me, but it is in the vain of what I am doing personally and think I can help others with as well.

So what does it mean and how does it relate to selling. Several interpretations of an open heart include:

 “that the ultimate goal of opening our hearts and minds is so that people can experience the openness, wisdom, and warmth that is the essence of our being”

“it means being more compassionate”

“it means being less worried so you can be more present and listen”

It is obvious that these qualities will help you help your customers and have them be more open, responsive and trusting  of you. It also helps “leave our ego outside” so we can do the same.

BTW, my meeting with my customer went 30 minutes longer, was the best meeting of many great meetings we had, AND I have several more opportunities because of it.

Let me know what you think.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Skills, Sales Productivity, Sales Process, b2b Sales, Sales Tips

Keeping Your Cool During Sales Negotiations

Posted on Mon, Feb 03, 2014

Buddha

I am involved in a fairly emotional, complicated, expensive sales negotiation with several (8 others) intelligent and very successful people. These people are all over the world so we have to do this over the phone (otherwise I would always do this in person).

The issues are starting to become contentious, and for those of you who know me, or have seen me, you know I can get emotional/angry at times :-)

 I did not want to have my anger get the best of me so I thought of some simple techniques (keep phone on mute, write things down, count to 10 , etc) so I could present myself in a mild, objective manner and be heard, vs. having them react and shutdown.

 As some of you know, I have been meditating quite regularly for the last 6 months and have been wanting to integrate this more into my sales approach. So I meditated a few minutes before the call, but more importantly I said the following to myself so help me be calm:

 First I said:

 May I be Safe

May I Be Happy

May I be Strong

May I be free from suffering and the roots of suffering

May I be filled with loving kindness and compassion

 

Then I said (imaging the people on the call):

 May YOU be Safe

May YOU Be Happy

May YOU be Strong

May YOU be free from suffering and the roots of suffering

May YOU be filled with loving kindness and compassion

 

Can’t tell you that this is the only reason the call went so well, but it did.

 

Let me know if you want to know more?

Tags: Sales Advice, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Objection Handling, Negotiations

Professional Courtesy For Salespeople- "Nuff Said"

Posted on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

describe the image

Last week, I sent out emails to 3 Owners or VP’s of Sales, people who I have spoken to, worked with and/or met separately.

In all 3 instances I have not heard back. If only to say they are unsure of the status of things we are communicating about, (including not being interested in moving forward), were busy or whatever.

To me this is the greatest of paradoxes, that people in the sales or sales training profession don’t have the courtesy to get back to others in their same line of work. It could also be a reflection of these individual’s perception or attitude towards me, and is something I have to examine, whether I am respected and bring value to them. If not, I should cut bait. If I do, I need to decide if I want to work with people who don't respect the trade.

As salespeople, we are all dealing with this from our customers but shouldn't we show, and be shown more respect from our prospects or customers? Are you getting the respect you deserve? Are you holding on to cuystomers or opportunities that don't honor you and your value? You might say that is part of the game, and I did, and still do. But less so every day and hopefully soon, not at all. As Bob Dylan says "you gotta serve somebody" and i dont mind that. I actually like it. But with respect and dignity!

What do you think? Let me know.

Tags: Sales, Sales, Sales Advice, b2b Sales

PERSONAS SHMERSONAS FOR SALESPEOPLE

Posted on Mon, Jan 20, 2014

people picture for blog resized 600 

Personas Shmersonas

Every industry has to come up with something new, or seemingly new to keep itself going and maintain it’s viability. For example, in fashion it is color or cut of a garment. One of these things in the marketing, sales and sales training industry is buyer personas.

 What is a buying persona? According to Hubspot, a company I use and admire A buyer persona is:

“Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.”

 This breakdown of a potential buyer and his or her “persona” along the way of a sales process or decision is good for marketing since the right message can try to be sent at the right time.

BUT I SAY ENOUGH WITH BUYING PERSONAS FOR SALESPEOPLE!

Why:

-       they can be highly inaccurate

-       they pigeon hole people/prospects and thus pigeon hole salespeople

-       they restrict what  prospect might want or a salesperson might ask

-       it is difficult and awkward to be mindful of smoothly integrate them into a sales approach

-       they are difficult to use for a salesperson who has multiple assignments, accounts and/or sell to many different people and industries (this is less so for people have a much more finite focus or responsibility)

-       salespeople can become dependent on or falsely led to believe that these personas are sacrosanct and all they have to do is what they are told and the sale will happen. HOGWASH I SAY!

Here is what I think is more important:

-       relating to people and being more empathetic and intelligent about their world

-       understanding a prospect’s or buyers UNIQUE responsibilities, priorities and needs which a persona does address to some degree

-       salespeople having the skill set to interact with an individual/S to see exactly what these are for them and their organization

-       giving salespeople an intelligent and flexible structure (such as the S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue) that they can use in multiple scenarios with much greater impact

That’s all I have to say on the subject for now. What do you think?

Tags: Sales Advice, Sales Advice, Sales Tips, Sales Tips, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Advice, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue, b2b Sales

Prospect Can You Feel Me (sing to the song Tommy from The Who)

Posted on Mon, Dec 02, 2013

buddha

I was going on my first sales call as Regional Director with one of my sales reps, Karen. We were meeting with Warren, at a division of one of the worlds largest healthcare companies. According to Karen who had met with him several time, Warren was not a nice person. A real mean S.O.B.  From what I was told, we were two diametrically opposed forces in suits; Good and Evil (Karen and I were the good ones of course). 

I had just gotten back from a week’s meditation retreat and was in a very mellow and peaceful space. You can call it relaxed, I would call it calm, present and happy, very content with myself and being where ever I was. I was not worried and afraid about not being successful (which is why I went away on the retreat). I was very aware that I was a Regional Manager who was responsible to help my people sell, but not feeling as pressured by it or more importantly, as defined by it. Nor was I as fearful of Warren. I felt confident in this space.

What happened at our meeting was quite remarkable. Karen and I sat in front of Warren’s big macho desk. Karen introduced me and I just began to talk to Warren about him, his position, what was important to him, what he wanted to have happen, what he wanted to avoid, etc. Then suddenly, Warren let down his guard and his defenses and was the nicest, most open person. It was as if his desk disappeared. He actually came out from behind his desk to sit with Karen and me. Why? Because he was responding to my manner, how I was feeling vs. the words and he felt safe. It was an incredible meeting and we got the deal 30 days later.

So what is the moral  of the story? People can feel where you are coming from. It you are coming from a place of safety, generosity, wholeness, curiosity and kindness, people will feel that. If you are not, people will feel that as well.

Who would you rather buy from?

Tags: Sales, b2b Sales, Sales Advice

Prospecting – Initiate a Multipronged Attack

Posted on Wed, Nov 06, 2013

Funnel

Many salespeople prospect to one person and one person only. They keep knocking on the same door and it isn’t opening. This is frustrating and non-productive.

Identifying the best positions/titles/functions to contact is critical for your prospecting success. In general, in a B2B environment, there are usually four to five departments or functions in an organization that can probably benefit from your offer, including:

  • Finance
  • Executive
  • Functional (HR, sales, manufacturing, etc.)
  • IT
  • Procurement

Of course, different industries have different functions that may limit you. For example, when selling to the government, healthcare and education verticals in particular, there are often more centralized or regulated models for an organization to buy things. Federal government sales need to abide by Government Securities Act (GSA) rules or an existing contract that has been awarded to a specific company or companies. If your company doesn’t fit into either of these, it makes it much more difficult to sell to the government. Large companies may force you into selling only to the procurement department, limiting your ability to penetrate an account.

If this is the case, you can play by their rules and see where it gets you. If you don’t succeed, then you might consider talking to other people in the company to influence the main buyer, or someone else who might be able to act on his or her own, if necessary, and if your offer is really compelling. It is very doubtful that if the general counsel or CFO said he or she wanted something, procurement would say, “No, you can’t have it.”

Using the database of your choice, search for the titles and names you want to sell to. For example, if you sell a product for a sales organization, you might search for several titles, including VP of Sales, VP of Channels, VP of Customer Service, VP of HR or Training, and CFO, because they can all benefit from your services. Who else can benefit from what you are selling?

You should also use your own connections and contacts to see if you or an acquaintance knows any of the people, specifically, or in the companies you want to sell to. Social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook, Pinterest, and even MySpace (if you are in the music or entertainment industry) are good for this. Of course, if you are using a database you pay for such as Hoover’s, The List, OneSource, or others, you need to refer to these as well.

Tags: Sales Skills, Prospecting, b2b lead generation, b2b Sales